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Fentanyl Withdrawal Times
  1. #1
    Narcissism is offline New Member
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    Default Fentanyl Withdrawal Times

    Hello,

    I'm wondering if anybody who has experience with fentanyl transdermal systems and the amount of time on average it takes to fully begin withdrawal. When I first began fentanyl, and was naive, I removed the patch for less than two hours, and experienced "moderately severe withdrawal". I've been off of fentanyl (cold turkey) now for 53 hours-- my M.D. suggested that in his experience withdrawal typically begins within 36-48 hours. For the first 36 hours, I consumed (2) 0.1 mg clonidines to help with the shivering and sweating (which in the past I've experienced severely), and am wondering if this could still be masking some of my symptoms?

    I understand that my metabolism could be different from others, allowing the fentanyl to linger in my system longer. So I ask, is it uncommon to only be experiencing very mild affects after 53 hours without medication? What is the longest I should have to wait before the moderate withdrawals present them self? (To clarify, I have taken no opioids, whether they be short or long acting, as of this morning I also quit using the clonidine, realizing that I could be masking my symptoms.


    Thank you for any information you can provide!

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    doc.rose is offline Senior Member
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    Why are you suddenly going cold turkey? Are you addicted to fentanyl? Just curious. I know that fentanyl is a very powerful opiate, so I was just wondering what other details you could share with the forum so you can get appropiate help. I am not and addict, but I do think that if you are asking for help on this forum, some of the people here will need more info in order to guide you. What dose are you taking? And what condition were you taking it for?

  3. #3
    Narcissism is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc.rose View Post
    Why are you suddenly going cold turkey? Are you addicted to fentanyl? Just curious. I know that fentanyl is a very powerful opiate, so I was just wondering what other details you could share with the forum so you can get appropiate help. I am not and addict, but I do think that if you are asking for help on this forum, some of the people here will need more info in order to guide you. What dose are you taking? And what condition were you taking it for?
    I have a condition called pseudotumor cerebri that has compressed my pituitary gland and results in extreme never-ending head pain, as well as endocrine dysfunctions. I was put on fentanyl without anybody ever explaining the consequences of such a powerful opioid, as far as physical dependence goes, and also life on fentanyl with was horrible. My primary care physician recommended that suboxone would be much better to be maintained on- thus I'm waiting for the withdrawal to begin so I can start the suboxone. I've been in excruciating pain for two days+ now and and unable to sleep due to the combination of anxiety, pain, and overall restlessness.

    Fentanyl is just aawwwwful, I was on 75 mcgs/hr but went down to 50mcg/hr to try and get relief from some of the side effects. No benefit though, and just more pain. I was on fentanyl for 5 months and prior to that I was on stadol IM injections (4-6 mgs/4 hours).

  4. #4
    kenner1971 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narcissism View Post
    Hello,

    I'm wondering if anybody who has experience with fentanyl transdermal systems and the amount of time on average it takes to fully begin withdrawal. When I first began fentanyl, and was naive, I removed the patch for less than two hours, and experienced "moderately severe withdrawal". I've been off of fentanyl (cold turkey) now for 53 hours-- my M.D. suggested that in his experience withdrawal typically begins within 36-48 hours. For the first 36 hours, I consumed (2) 0.1 mg clonidines to help with the shivering and sweating (which in the past I've experienced severely), and am wondering if this could still be masking some of my symptoms?

    I understand that my metabolism could be different from others, allowing the fentanyl to linger in my system longer. So I ask, is it uncommon to only be experiencing very mild affects after 53 hours without medication? What is the longest I should have to wait before the moderate withdrawals present them self? (To clarify, I have taken no opioids, whether they be short or long acting, as of this morning I also quit using the clonidine, realizing that I could be masking my symptoms.


    Thank you for any information you can provide!
    I donot have enough experience to say for sure but I can tell you what my doctor told me. I took 50 mcgs every other day of fentanyl for over a year. I started experiencing withdrawals almost immediately. I was in moderate withdrawals within 24hrs and my pain management told me it took 48 hrs to go into withdrawals and wouldn't listen to me. I also went from 50 mcgs everyother day to 25mcgs every three days and suffered severe withdrawals for about three days and thought I was gonna die. those withdrawals started within 24 hours also. Again my pain management doctors told me I was NOT in withdrawals AT ALL because I still had fentanyl in my system sooooo. Needless to say this last time they didn't get my prescription to me ontime which was the 3rd time by the way, I decided to come off of it all together. I went to a sub doctor and he gave me enough Lorcet 10s to get me through until I started my sub medicine the next week. I ate all of them before the weekend was up just because I was scared of going into withdrawals. The Lorcet kept the withdrawals at bay really well. I started my sub treatment and I thought I was gonna die i was so sick. My doctor did not induct me properly which is what led me to this site. i am now going to stop my subs and go into withdrawals again and let Robert induct me properly. To answer your question more directly. My sub doctor told me that if I stopped fentanyl cold turkey that I would be in severe withdrawals for about 2 weeks and then I would be so tired for a month that i would not be able to function. If you are not in severe withdrawals when youstart the sub you will get very sick. If you are 52 hours in and not sick enough to need any medicine, I would not say you were off the hook just yet but after 72 hours if you are not so sick you can't function, you may be able to do this on your own. This is just my opinion from my experience. The subs have saved peoples lifes but until I am inducted properly, they have done nothing but make me miserable. There is a COW worksheet that Robert has the link too. I don't have the link anymore I printed it out and have it on hand for next week when I am ready to stop the subs and I do know that this worksheet YOU HAVE to score a 26 before you start the subs. please do not let the doctor give you the subs until you are a 26, it would be wonderful if you could get through the withdrawals without any medicine in my opinion. Oh how I wish I could. That is awesome going 52 hours without medicine and still being able to function and not being in severe withdrawals. I was kinda hoping that would happen to me next week when I start the subs. I was kinda hoping I wouldnt get sick enough to have to go back on them. I haven't had a patch since 6-16-10 and i haven't had a Lorcet since 6-20-10 but i have been on the sub since 6-22-10. I am hoping that even though i have been so sick that the sub has gotten the other medicine out of my system and that if i quiet cold turkey from the sub, that will be suffecient and it will be over but from what i understand is you have to let your body have time to retrain your natural endorphins. I too was completely opiod naive when I started pain management and I am afraid I am yet another victim. I wish you well and keep us posted.

  5. #5
    Narcissism is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenner1971 View Post
    I donot have enough experience to say for sure but I can tell you what my doctor told me. I took 50 mcgs every other day of fentanyl for over a year. I started experiencing withdrawals almost immediately. I was in moderate withdrawals within 24hrs and my pain management told me it took 48 hrs to go into withdrawals and wouldn't listen to me. I also went from 50 mcgs everyother day to 25mcgs every three days and suffered severe withdrawals for about three days and thought I was gonna die. those withdrawals started within 24 hours also. Again my pain management doctors told me I was NOT in withdrawals AT ALL because I still had fentanyl in my system sooooo. Needless to say this last time they didn't get my prescription to me ontime which was the 3rd time by the way, I decided to come off of it all together. I went to a sub doctor and he gave me enough Lorcet 10s to get me through until I started my sub medicine the next week. I ate all of them before the weekend was up just because I was scared of going into withdrawals. The Lorcet kept the withdrawals at bay really well. I started my sub treatment and I thought I was gonna die i was so sick. My doctor did not induct me properly which is what led me to this site. i am now going to stop my subs and go into withdrawals again and let Robert induct me properly. To answer your question more directly. My sub doctor told me that if I stopped fentanyl cold turkey that I would be in severe withdrawals for about 2 weeks and then I would be so tired for a month that i would not be able to function. If you are not in severe withdrawals when youstart the sub you will get very sick. If you are 52 hours in and not sick enough to need any medicine, I would not say you were off the hook just yet but after 72 hours if you are not so sick you can't function, you may be able to do this on your own. This is just my opinion from my experience. The subs have saved peoples lifes but until I am inducted properly, they have done nothing but make me miserable. There is a COW worksheet that Robert has the link too. I don't have the link anymore I printed it out and have it on hand for next week when I am ready to stop the subs and I do know that this worksheet YOU HAVE to score a 26 before you start the subs. please do not let the doctor give you the subs until you are a 26, it would be wonderful if you could get through the withdrawals without any medicine in my opinion. Oh how I wish I could. That is awesome going 52 hours without medicine and still being able to function and not being in severe withdrawals. I was kinda hoping that would happen to me next week when I start the subs. I was kinda hoping I wouldnt get sick enough to have to go back on them. I haven't had a patch since 6-16-10 and i haven't had a Lorcet since 6-20-10 but i have been on the sub since 6-22-10. I am hoping that even though i have been so sick that the sub has gotten the other medicine out of my system and that if i quiet cold turkey from the sub, that will be suffecient and it will be over but from what i understand is you have to let your body have time to retrain your natural endorphins. I too was completely opiod naive when I started pain management and I am afraid I am yet another victim. I wish you well and keep us posted.
    I appreciate your reply. Are you from Kenner, LA!? I only ask because it is my hometown and I lived in New Orleans until 6 months ago when I became extremely ill. I lived by Tulane, miss the area so much, and the food!

    Onto the medication: After a month of fentanyl, I removed the patch because it was driving me looney-- with anxiety. I'd never experienced withdrawal before. The patch was 72 hours old when I took it off, so it was used up- but within 2 hours, I immediately went into severe w/d. Shaking, sweating (enough to ring the sweat out of my clothing), anxiety, chills, nausea, stomach cramping, etc.

    So I called my MD this morning, he is an antheisologist as well as a pain management doctor who has done the addiction training to write suboxone rx's. He is extremely knowledgeable about pain medication (I've seen roughly 30 specialist, including numerous pain management doctors in the last year and a half, none approach his level of knowledge.) I felt bad calling him over the weekend, but he is excellent and was prompt to return my call (within 5 minutes). He said that he couldn't explain why I wasn't in w/d. He told me if I wanted-- I could try and withdraw without the suboxone. However, my pain was extreme, and he said my other option would be to go ahead and take the suboxone, as he didn't believe there was any way fentanyl was still present in my body.


    Needless to say, I was ready for the worst, precipitated withdrawal. I took 4mg and after 45 minutes I felt ok but still not much pain relief, and then took another 4mg. Now I feel much better.


    So why no withdrawals? I've been on opoids for a year, vicodin to oxycodone intially, I was taking well over 160mg of oxycodone a day, then I switched to stadol-- which is a wonderful opoid in my opinion. It never impaired me, or made me feel "high," never any symptoms (i.e., hot flashes, nausea, chills, anxiety) like fentanyl. Stadol, however is an old drug, and hard to find. Also, insurances mostly consider it to be obsolete, thus it is a drug that requires authorization. It was costing me with insurance ($400 a month, as I needed like 700 vials a month). I have REALLY good insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees group. I couldn't get it through my insurance mail order pharmacy because they refused to fill for stadol. (If I could have, It would have been $10.00 for any amount because its generic.) I however, pay 20% of the drug cost if its not through the mail. Suboxone is $65.00 (since its not generic) for any amount-- and thats a 3 month supply. Fentanyl was also much cheaper, which is why my primary care physician switched me to it in the first place, plus he wasn't too comfortable with maintaining me on injectable stadol. So $65.00 every 3 months for as much Suboxone as I need, as well as hopefully alleviating symptoms that Fentanyl caused, so I can have my life back.


    Sorry for the story! Just wanted to explain a bit more.

    I am still wondering why I underwent VERY little withdrawal symptoms, it is crazy, so if you have an explanation, please even if it is a guess, let me know!


    Thanks for all of your input.

  6. #6
    kenner1971 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narcissism View Post
    I appreciate your reply. Are you from Kenner, LA!? I only ask because it is my hometown and I lived in New Orleans until 6 months ago when I became extremely ill. I lived by Tulane, miss the area so much, and the food!

    Onto the medication: After a month of fentanyl, I removed the patch because it was driving me looney-- with anxiety. I'd never experienced withdrawal before. The patch was 72 hours old when I took it off, so it was used up- but within 2 hours, I immediately went into severe w/d. Shaking, sweating (enough to ring the sweat out of my clothing), anxiety, chills, nausea, stomach cramping, etc.

    So I called my MD this morning, he is an antheisologist as well as a pain management doctor who has done the addiction training to write suboxone rx's. He is extremely knowledgeable about pain medication (I've seen roughly 30 specialist, including numerous pain management doctors in the last year and a half, none approach his level of knowledge.) I felt bad calling him over the weekend, but he is excellent and was prompt to return my call (within 5 minutes). He said that he couldn't explain why I wasn't in w/d. He told me if I wanted-- I could try and withdraw without the suboxone. However, my pain was extreme, and he said my other option would be to go ahead and take the suboxone, as he didn't believe there was any way fentanyl was still present in my body.


    Needless to say, I was ready for the worst, precipitated withdrawal. I took 4mg and after 45 minutes I felt ok but still not much pain relief, and then took another 4mg. Now I feel much better.


    So why no withdrawals? I've been on opoids for a year, vicodin to oxycodone intially, I was taking well over 160mg of oxycodone a day, then I switched to stadol-- which is a wonderful opoid in my opinion. It never impaired me, or made me feel "high," never any symptoms (i.e., hot flashes, nausea, chills, anxiety) like fentanyl. Stadol, however is an old drug, and hard to find. Also, insurances mostly consider it to be obsolete, thus it is a drug that requires authorization. It was costing me with insurance ($400 a month, as I needed like 700 vials a month). I have REALLY good insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees group. I couldn't get it through my insurance mail order pharmacy because they refused to fill for stadol. (If I could have, It would have been $10.00 for any amount because its generic.) I however, pay 20% of the drug cost if its not through the mail. Suboxone is $65.00 (since its not generic) for any amount-- and thats a 3 month supply. Fentanyl was also much cheaper, which is why my primary care physician switched me to it in the first place, plus he wasn't too comfortable with maintaining me on injectable stadol. So $65.00 every 3 months for as much Suboxone as I need, as well as hopefully alleviating symptoms that Fentanyl caused, so I can have my life back.


    Sorry for the story! Just wanted to explain a bit more.

    I am still wondering why I underwent VERY little withdrawal symptoms, it is crazy, so if you have an explanation, please even if it is a guess, let me know!


    Thanks for all of your input.
    YOU NEVER experienced withdrawals from fentanyl? I didn't realize that is what you were saying. You probably werent dependent on it. Some people can metabolize it better or something and do not become dependent. My body became dependent on it very quickly. Thats a good thing you never experienced withdrawals from it. They are awful and diabling. Worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. The other thing is you took the patch off and it had been 72 hours since you put it on (correct) then the next day you started suboxone (correct)? THis would mean you didn't give it enough time to get out of your system if this is what happened. Fentanyl has a long half life which means it stays in your system for a long time. (Days not hours) From what I understand, You would have had to take the patch off after 72 hours of wearing it and then wait 3 to 4 days to be in withdrawals. I hope this has helped and that I have not mistaken your question.
    Kenner is just my nickname but I do know about Kenner LA. I have never heard of Tulane MS. I live in Greenville, MS. My hometown though is Vicksburg, MS. I also have Federal Blue Cross Blue Shield. We have a lot in common. LOL
    Sorry I didn't get back with you sooner. I didn't even log on to the computer yesterday at all.
    I am starting my journey to 26 on the COW worksheet today. I was not inducted properly and Robert is going to induct me when I reached 26 so I can get completely off the subs. I was put into precipated withdrawals and although it wasn't as bad as my withdrawals from fentanyl, it was pretty rough. I am just ready to get all the stuff out of my system and I haven't thought about the chronic pain yet. I was just gonna see if I can live it! Maybe take Aleve, advil or something. Who knows, they say it helps alot more after your clean.
    Keep me posted!

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    kenner1971 is offline Member
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    Also I wanted to let you know that i have read alot of post on here and I have heard others saying that clonidine is excellent for withdrawal symptoms and it could have very well covered or masked your symptoms.

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    Cherylp105 is offline New Member
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    I've been on 50 mcg of fentanyl for 2 months, trying to wean down to 25 and totally going looney with anxiety. It has been 6 days of trying to wean down. Thank you for your suggestions of stadoland suboxone. I want off of fentanyl completely!!!! Sweating, throwing up, feel long there are ping pong balls bouncing around in my body....can't relax....its been 6 days. I'm a mess. I have mesothelioma so have lots of chest pain and need some kind of pain killer that won't make me crazy. But the anxiety since switching to 25 instead of 50 patch is unbelievable. Any suggestions???? Help please???!
    Last edited by Anonymous; 03-09-2016 at 12:04 PM.

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    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherylp105 View Post
    I've been on 50 mcg of fentanyl for 2 months, trying to wean down to 25 and totally going looney with anxiety. It has been 6 days of trying to wean down. Thank you for your suggestions of stadoland suboxone. I want off of fentanyl completely!!!! Sweating, throwing up, feel long there are ping pong balls bouncing around in my body....can't relax....its been 6 days. I'm a mess. I have mesothelioma so have lots of chest pain and need some kind of pain killer that won't make me crazy. But the anxiety since switching to 25 instead of 50 patch is unbelievable. Any suggestions???? Help please???!
    Cheryl, this is an old thread. Start your own thread in the need to talk forum, you will get alot of good advice and support there. Good luck... God bless us all!

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    Cherylp105 is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky71 View Post
    Cheryl, this is an old thread. Start your own thread in the need to talk forum, you will get alot of good advice and support there. Good luck... God bless us all!
    Thank you! How do I access that forum???

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    Ricky71 is offline Platinum Member
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    Cherylp105 - Here's a link to the "need to talk forum"... Click on the New Thread button on top of the page to start your very own thread. Take care... God bless us all!

    https://www.drugs.com/forum/need-talk/

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    Cherylp105 is offline New Member
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    Thank you.

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